Into 2019

Andrew Biggs

At the beginning of a new year it is customary both to look back over the previous year, perhaps with a sense of nostalgia, and also to look to the future with a sense of hope for something brighter and more uplifting than the previous year. Many of us use this time to reflect and make changes to our routines or lifestyle with the intention of being healthier, happier and more aware than before.

So what are the things you are most looking forward to doing, experiencing or changing in the coming year?

This will be an interesting year for us because, later in the year I will be taking my first sabbatical after 10 years in ministry. Between May and July I have the opportunity for self renewal and refreshment and to recharge the physical and spiritual batteries. I am not entirely sure what I will be spending my time doing yet, but I know it will involve getting out in the fresh air and seeing some of the countryside, amongst other things.

Earlier in the year, Julie and I will be traveling to India for two weeks as part of a pilgrimage looking at ‘Christian witness as a minority witness’, led by Rev Indergit Bhogal. We will be visiting the north of India around the New Delhi area and travelling to Agra (site of the Taj Mahal), and then from Delhi to Ludhiana by train. We will also travel to Amritsar where we will visit a conference at the Baring Union Christian College, and the following day to the Golden Temple. We have never been to India before, so we are very much looking forward to the experience.

As a church we are looking forward to the Holy Habits project which is now very much into the planning stage and we look forward to the opportunities for fellowship, learning and spiritual encouragement that we hope it will enable us to engage with.

In the Circuit, later in the year, we will sadly say “goodbye’ to some staff members, including our Superintendent Rev James Tebbutt, Rev Graham Miles and Rev Ann Owen but look forward to welcoming new ones in September.

So I hope that this year brings new hope and joy for you and your families.

Fox Update: Following my previous article several people have asked about the poorly fox that had visited my garden and which I had hoped to give assistance to. Well, I obtained the medicine and put it out on honey covered bread for several weeks. I also bought a camera which I attached to a tree at the far end of the garden so that I could see if the food was being eaten by the fox during the night. However, although the fox did return a couple of times and ate the food, unfortunately he did not return again after the second time. So after three weeks I gave up but will continue to keep an eye out in case he returns, maybe in the Spring. On the other hand I did get some night time shots of a beautiful bushy, healthy looking fox (we called him Sox because he has little black bands round his feet the look just like socks!) which seems to be a regular visitor at around 3am each day!

A Happy New Year to you all

Andrew

Religion never was designed to make our pleasures less. Isaac Watts

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